Everyone who comes to Iceland is pretty keen make the most of their time here, and whether that means a week of carefree holiday meandering or a laser-guided approach to finding the best stuff, a couple of insider tips are always useful. In this fast-changing city, new places spring up from week to week, begging the questions: which pool has the best hot pot for your first morning here? Where’s the best Icelandic art at? And what’s the best road trip to see some of this amazing nature we’ve heard so much about?
Bíó Paradís Hverfisgata 54 The only independent cinema in downtown Reykjavík, Bíó Paradís won this category hands down. “There’s simply nothing else like it in Reykjavík,” said the panel. “They have the good indie shit. They import beyond Hollywood.” It’s also the best place to catch up on the last few years of Icelandic films, which are shown daily with English subtitles. Bíó Paradís also hosts various film festivals, and host “Black Sundays” during the winter—a curated series of cult movies, classic horror, sci-fi, b-movies and film noir. This place will forever hold a special place in the hearts of discerning Icelandic cinephiles.
Álfabakki VIP Álfabakki 8 If you want to see a blockbuster, this is the place to go. “They have the lazy boy recliners, all the popcorn you can eat and the soda you can drink, and reserved seating that’s very close to the screen,” said the panel. “Rich people build home theatres for this film experience.”
Háskólabíó Hagatorg If you’re on foot and want to see a popcorn movie, the best option is Hásólabíó. Located on the University of Iceland campus but open to all, it’s walkable from downtown, and screens both blockbusters and Icelandic films. Not all screenings have subtitles, so it’s best to check.